Correa in a crowded march in Guayquil during January 19th, 2008 – Photo by Charlie Perez and used under a Creative Commons license.
Last week we reported that Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa was received warmly in Spain and proved to have a different relationship with the King of Spain, and did not necessarily follow the lead of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, as has been reported. Yet, Correa encountered plenty of criticism from members of the crowds for his apparent inaction on the demands of the immigrant community and for his anti-Colombia rhetoric. One of the most notable incident was recorded on video after a meeting at the House of the Americas in Spain in the presence of 1500 people. Correa was publicly criticized by an Ecuadoran immigrant, who claimed that the president has not been paying attention to the demands of the immigrant community. As the president was leaving, he called out to the man and said, “because of idiots like you, the entire Ecuadoran community looks bad”
This unprofessional behavior drew the criticism of the Ecuadoran media and bloggers, as well as members of the Constituent Assembly. Dionicio Cando [es], a member of the Constituent Assembly for the Morona Santiago province refers to an article written by well know Ecuadoran journalism Carlos Vera, who asks who will incarcerate Correa for such an insult to the immigrant:
La gran mayoría del país resiste todo menos la humillación. El ecuatoriano nunca dejará de ser digno. Ya verán cómo el indigno gesto de un Primer Mandatario es el primer hito en la reversión de un totalitarismo al cual Ecuador no quiere estar sujeto. El déspota lo sabe. Por eso lo desespera “un idiota”. Terminó de caérsele la careta.
The vast majority of the country withstands anything but humiliation. The Ecuadoran will never put aside his pride. You will see how the unworthy gesture of a President is the first step towards a turn to totalitarianism of which Ecuador does not want to belong to. The despot knows it. That is why “an idiot” made him desperate. His mask just fell.
La Alharaca [es], a blog from Guayaquil writes that Correa did address the topic of immigration during visits to Madrid, Brussels and France and asked that immigration should not be criminalized. However, the topic of Colombia also came up when a Colombian student criticized Correa's anti-Colombian stance. [es]
Alex Anazco from Cambiemos Ecuador [es] post videos and thinks that Correa should learn lessons from Colombian Uribe, instead of calling others names.
Mientras el país presenta cada vez más índices económicos preocupantes, el Ec. Correa en lugar de alentar y buscar inversiones, cruzó el charco para gruńir, lo contrario de su homólogo Uribe, que a más de recibir propuestas de Bill Gates [tomado de El Federalista] fue a Europa por más inversiones. Pero el muchachito de presidente que tenemos, chabacano y sabroso como él solo, no se lo ocurre mejor cosa que decir ¡Por idiotas como tú! ante la inquietud de un ecuatoriano en el extranjero… que lástima. ¿Alguna constructiva sugerencia?…
While the country has increasingly troubling economic indicators, Ec. Correa, rather than encourage and look for investments , crossed the pond grumbling; which is the opposite of his counterpart Uribe, who in addition to receiving proposals from Bill Gates [taken from http://el-federalista.blogspot.com -The Federalist], went to Europe looking for more investments. But our childish and vulgar president can't think of anything better to say than ‘Because of idiots like you!’ to the concerns of Ecuadorans abroad … what a pity. Does anyone have any constructive suggestions? …
This is just one in other issues that is affecting Correa's popularity. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) has jumped ship and now is in opposition to Correa for “continuing right-wing neoliberal economic and racist social policies.” In addition, the laptop found in the presence of Raúl Reyes, the FARC guerilla leader who was killed in the border dispute had shown ties between Correa and the group. However, Correa has said that he's going to step down if it is proven that his government has backed the leftist FARC.
For the video of the incident between the president and Ecuadoran immigrant see the YouTube video.